Week Ten Starts The Last Month Of The College Football Regular Season
College Football Week Ten is the ultimate prove it week for programs in the Sunshine State. UCF is the lone program that has a chance to reach the College Football Playoff. Other programs are trying to save their season from complete disaster.
UCF regained the top spot in our Sports Talk Florida College Football Rankings. Click here for full rankings.
However, College Football Playoff Committee has the two-loss Florida Gators one spot ahead in their initial rankings.
No. 11 UCF vs. Temple | Thursday, 7:30pm on ESPN | Line: UCF -10.5
The most significant reason for the undefeated UCF’s No. 11 ranking is their strength of schedule, which is 127th out of 130 teams. Also, the Knights have not played a team with a winning record. Thursday night, UCF will face its toughest opponent thus far in Temple. Temple travels to Spectrum Stadium 4-0 in conference play, fresh of a victory over then No. 20 Cincinnati.
Both teams will be well prepared after their bye week. Furthermore, the bye allowed UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton to heal after missing their last game with an undisclosed injury. Milton will be a game-time decision. If Milton cannot go, it’ll be redshirt freshman backup Darriel Mack Jr. After a shaky start, Mack finished with a game-high 120 yards rushing and 69 passing yards vs. East Carolina.
The Knights will look to take advantage of Temple quarterback Anthony Russo, who completes less than 57 percent of his passes, with nine touchdowns, and ten interceptions. The Owls will lean on running back Ryquell Armstead who averages 5.1 yards per carry. Temple plays real defense allowing 21.4 points per game and just 147.5 yards through the air. Look for the Owls to make who plays quarterback throw into tight windows.
Prediction: Temple 28 – UCF 27
No. 10 Florida vs. Missouri | 4pm on SEC Network | Line: Florida -5.5
The Gators look to rebound after a second half let down vs. Georgia in Jacksonville last weekend. At 6-2, Florida is ahead of their rebuild schedule and has much to play for such as a New Years Six Bowl Game. A strong finish even without the carrot of a division title to chase would be a good sign for the Gators. The carrot the Gators will be chasing is their annual matchup with Florida State at the end of the year.
The Tigers come to Ben Griffin Stadium 4-4, having not won a game in conference play, making the 5.5 point line a bit puzzling. Missouri does have the nation’s 21st-ranked offense as they put almost 470 yards per game. Quarterback Drew Locke is potentially the next big name at the next level, but he only has one touchdown pass in SEC play with three interceptions.
Look for the Gators to control the clock with their run game, keeping Mizzou’s high-powered offense on the sidelines. Locke will struggle vs. a very formidable Florida defense that gives up just 170.1 yards thru the air. Gators’ quarterback Felepie Franks will bounce back as the Tigers give up 288.3 yards thru the air.
Prediction: Florida 31 – Missouri 20
Miami vs. Duke | 7pm on ESPN2 | Line: Miami -9.5
Miami began the season with high aspirations coming off their first ten-win season since 2003. The Canes were throttled by LSU in Dallas, who’s now the No. 3 team in the country. Now the Miami is on a two-game skid, with no identity on offense as the talent and hard work is wasted on defense.
Miami head coach Mark Richt has benched his starting quarterback in three of the last 11 games. Richt has chosen redshirt senior, Malik Rosier, to start this week at home vs. Duke. The move is troubling due to the fact that Miami’s season is basically over, and they need to focus on the future. Richt is the play caller, and his offense has only put up 27 points in their last two games. However, the Blue Devils allow 188 yards on the ground per game. Richt will look to lean on Miami’s power running game to stop the bleeding and secure a much-needed victory.
The Canes still have the second-ranked defense in the country as they yield just 261.5 yards per game. Duke’s uptempo offense puts over 400 yards, and 31.6 points per game. Duke is also coming off two losses; they’ll lean on quarterback Daniel Jones to get out of their funk.
Prediction: Miami 34 – Duke 31
USF vs. Tulane | 3:30pm on CBS Sports | Line: USF -7
The Bulls were living life on the edge for the past month and a half or so. It finally caught up with them last week on the road at Houston. USF did the best they could for about three quarters, but in the end, the Cougs had too much offense. The Bulls welcome Tulane to Raymond James Stadium Saturday as they still have a chance to win the AAC, and potentially a NY6 bowl game.
At 3-5, the Green Wave shouldn’t give the Bulls too much trouble. Tulane has an average offense and gives up over 416 yards per game. However, USF has played down to their competition this season, and have so much to lose. The Bulls must stop Tulane’s rushing attack that averages over 200 yards per game.
The Bulls put up 500 yards of offense, and score 35.6 points per game. Quarterback Blake Barnett hasn’t played as well as he did in the first four weeks. Look for Barnett to bounce back as Tulane allows 263.4 yards per game thru the air.
Prediction: USF 34 – Tulane 23
Florida State at No. 21 NC State | 3:30pm on ABC | Line: 7.5
Florida State’s “lost season” continues after being humbled 59-10 at home by Clemson last week — tied for the program’s largest loss ever. First-year Seminoles coach Willie Taggart said Monday he thought some of his players quit and that his staff needed “to find the winners” on the team. The road doesn’t get any easier as the remaining five opponents on FSU’s schedule are all ranked. The Noles must win two the five to keep their 36-game bowl streak alive. Saturday at NC State is one of the easier games.
N.C. State is led by quarterback Ryan Finley, considered one of the top senior prospects at his position for the NFL Draft. He is averaging an ACC-leading 321.4 passing yards per game and is coming off a career-best 473 passing yards in the defeat at Syracuse. The Seminoles give up 287.9 yards thru the air per game. FSU must find a way to slow down the Wolfpack passing game to secure the road victory.
Florida State has been abysmal on offense this season. It starts up front with their offensive line as the Noles’ run game is non-existent. They rank 126th nationally in rushing, averaging 83.5 yards per contest. The Wolfpack has a stout run defense, yielding just 101.3 yards per matchup. Quarterback Deondre Francios is day to day after suffering an injury last week vs. Clemson. If FSU cannot run the football effectively, it’ll be a long day for whoever is under center.
Prediction: NC State 31 – Florida State 21
FAU at FIU | 7:30pm | Line: -3
The Panthers look to continue its best start in program history on Saturday, as they welcome the Owls to Riccardo Silva Stadium. The Owls own the series at 11-4, and captured last season’s contest 52-24; however, the Panthers sit atop the C-USA Eastern Division standings with a 4-0 conference mark and an overall record of 6-2.
The most significant reason for the Owls losing four out of their last five games is quarterback play. Quarterback Chris Robinson has eight touchdown passes, and ten interceptions in eight games. Eight of Robinson’s touchdowns have come on the road. Look for the Owls to lean heavily running back Devin Singletary who has 15 touchdowns.
FIU can contribute a lot of their success to quarterback James Morgan. Morgan has been extremely consistent and trustworthy with 19 touchdown passes, and just four interceptions. The Panthers will test FAU’s secondary downfield as they average 8.8 yards per pass attempt. Morgan will look to have a big day as FAU gives up 248.1 yards per game thru the air.
Prediction: FIU 37 – FAU 31